Council Minutes September 7, 2004

CITY OF POOLER
CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
September 7, 2004


The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on September 7, 2004. Mayor Mike Lamb called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, Travis Cowart, Jr., Mike Royal, Wayne Seay, Stevie Wall and Councilwoman Rebecca Benton. City Manager Dennis Baxter and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present. 

The invocation was given by Councilman Allen and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Councilman Cowart. 

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as printed upon a motion by Councilman Wall, seconded by Councilman Allen, with no opposition. 

Report from the Standing Committees: 

FINANCE

Councilman Allen presented bills for payment and made a motion to pay, subject to funds. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. Councilman Allen made a motion to add Item #8 under New Business. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Councilman Wall reported on the community service program and gave the police report. Fire Chief Jay Hillis gave the fire report. Councilman Wall made a motion to add Item #9 under New Business. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition. 

STREETS/DRAINAGE

Councilman Cowart reported that the street and drainage departments have performed routine maintenance and that the crews were well prepared for the impending severe weather. Further, that the crews will begin picking up storm limbs this Thursday, continuing on Monday and next Thursday. 

WATER/SEWER

Councilman Royal reported that the water and sewer departments have performed routine maintenance. 

RECREATION

Councilman Seay reported that football and cheerleading practice is ongoing with the Rama scheduled for September 18th and the regular season beginning on the 23rd. Councilman Seay made a motion to add Item #2 under Old Business. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. 

PERSONNEL

Councilman Seay commended the public works employees for their work during the times of inclement weather. Councilman Seay stated that two (2) new policies need to be added to the personnel handbook and made a motion to add provisions for the HIPPA and drug policy. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. 

BUILDING/ZONING

Councilwoman Benton reported that 23 new single family residential permits were issued since the last meeting, totaling 228 for the year, with 4415 inspections performed to date. 

Dan Massey, candidate for Clerk of Superior Court, Chatham County, addressed Council in regards to his campaign. 

Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed: 

1. Approval of minor revision of conceptual plan for Sangrena Woods Subdivision, Phase IV

Mr. Baxter presented this revised plan, stating that the developer has agreed to provide easements between two (2) lots and pipe the ditch to allow access for pedestrian traffic to the recreation area. Further, that the area set aside for recreation will be shown on the plat for this phase of development and will be cleared. Terry Coleman of Kern-Coleman Company stated that this recreation area is permanent, but that the developer would like the option to relocate it if it is deemed necessary with future development. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the revised conceptual plan for Sangrena Woods Subdivision, Phase IV, contingent upon the easements being provided, the property being cleared (in accordance with the city’s tree ordinance) and a pedestrian path being provided for access to the recreation area. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition. 

2. Approval for gym to be used for gymnastics program

Councilman Seay stated that due to the growth the recreation department has experienced, it was necessary to expand offices into the area of the gym where gymnastics was held. Therefore, this program was moved to the old Boy Scout building which is somewhat inadequate due to the low height of the ceiling. At the request of the instructor, Ms. Sharon Jacoby, Councilwoman Benton, Recreation Director Pappy Johnson and Councilman Seay recently met with Ms. Jacoby in regards to her request to use the gym on Monday and Tuesday nights from 5:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. after the basketball season ends in March. Councilman Seay made a motion to approve this request. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition. Councilman Cowart asked if there were any future plans to remedy this situation. Mr. Baxter replied that the city is proposing an addition to the gym to provide a room for gymnastics. 

Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed: 

1. Requested zoning map amendment of 4.28 acres on S. Rogers Street from R-3A to R-2C

A public hearing was held prior. Mr. Baxter presented this request to re-zone (down zone) this property, stating that Planning & Zoning has recommended approval. Councilman Wall stated that in the past, developers have proposed projects with as many as 68 units, with this project only having 20 units, which will be better suited for this area, which is already heavily traveled. Anthony Hamilton, who is working with the owner, Richard F. Brown, Trustee, addressed Council, stating that this is a non-profit development and will target the elderly who are looking for housing. Further, that all proceeds will go to a scholarship fund set aside for children’s education. Mr. Brown, owner, stated that his Trust Company will own and maintain the property and buildings. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this zoning map amendment. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.

2. Approval of proposed conceptual plan for Country Inn & Suites at the corner of

Parsons Avenue and Gray Street

Mr. Baxter presented this plan for the Country Inn & Suites, stating that he is recommending the driveways on Parsons Avenue to be one-way in and one-way out, which the owner, Mr. Patel, stated that he has no problem with. Councilman Wall and Councilman Cowart expressed their appreciation of the owner working with the city on this project. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this conceptual plan, contingent upon the driveways on Parsons Avenue being made one-way in and one-way out. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.

3. Approval of site plan for Roy Patel’s office building at Lots 31 & 32, Pooler Park of Commerce

Mr. Baxter presented this site plan, stating that all the engineer’s comments have been addressed. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to approve. Motion passed without opposition. 

4. Approval of Amendment #1 (including development standards) to the Morgan Family PUD Master Plan on Pine Barren Road

Mr. Baxter presented this amendment to the Morgan Family PUD Master Plan to change the zoning of 36.41 acres from multi-family to single family. After discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this Amendment, contingent upon Chatham County’s approval of right-in, right-out access to Pooler Parkway. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition. 

5. Approval of recombination of Lots 4A & 4B, Sangrena Woods Subdivision, Phase II

Mr. Baxter presented this request to recombine these lots to shift the lot line. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Cowart, to approve. Motion passed without opposition. 

6. Approval of agreement with Department of Transportation regarding lighting at I-16 and Pooler Parkway

Mr. Baxter presented a new agreement with DOT regarding the proposed lighting at I-16 and Pooler Parkway, stating that DOT is also requesting a resolution authorizing the mayor to sign the documents for this project. Mr. Baxter stated that the State has approved the purchase of the material and that the city will have to look for funding for installation, maintenance and utility costs. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this agreement and resolution authorizing the mayor to sign all documents. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. 

7. Approval of Change Order #7 for wastewater treatment plant project

Mr. Baxter presented this Change Order in the amount of $46,930.00 which is needed due to the fact that the soil was not suitable for the road bed at the new wastewater treatment plant. Lonnie Dye and Bill Lovett of Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung Engineers were present to answer any questions. Councilman Cowart asked when it was determined that the soil was not suitable, which Mr. Lovett replied that it was a few weeks ago and that the project is still under the loan amount, even with this change order. Mr. Dye reminded Council that the contractor is asking for a 10 day extension, which Mr. Baxter stated that he would not recommend, based on the deadline the city has to meet to be off the City of Savannah’s sewer line. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this change order in the amount of $46,930.00, allowing the contractor to work on Sundays, but not allowing any extension on the project at this time. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition. 

8. Proposal for 2004 millage rate

Mr. Baxter stated that the city will be advertising for a proposed millage rate increase, with three (3) public hearings to be held this month. Councilman Allen made a motion, seconded by Councilman Seay, to propose the 2004 millage rate at 4.25 mills. Motion passed with Councilman Cowart opposing. Councilman Cowart stated that he recommends the city look at ways of reducing expenses instead of increasing taxes. 

9. Approval to hire two (2) additional police officers

Councilman Wall stated that at the planning retreat in June, the Council discussed the possibility of additional personnel in the police department and made a motion to approve the hiring of two (2) additional officers. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition. 

Councilwoman Benton asked Chief Chan for assistance with four-wheelers and scooters on the roads. 

Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn to Executive Session at approximately 7:12 p.m. to discuss legal matters. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition. 

Mayor Lamb called the meeting back to order at 7:27 p.m. 

There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn at approximately 7:28 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition. 

Public Hearing

A public hearing was held prior to the regular City Council meeting on September 7, 2004. Mayor Mike Lamb called the hearing to order at 5:45 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, Travis Cowart, Jr., Mike Royal, Wayne Seay, Stevie Wall and Councilwoman Rebecca Benton. City Manager Dennis Baxter and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present. 

The purpose of this hearing was to discuss a requested zoning map amendment of 4.28 acres on S. Rogers Street from R-3A (multi-family residential) to R-2C (two-family) zoning. Mr. Baxter presented this request from the owner, Mr. Richard F. Brown, Trustee, to rezone this property, which would be a down zoning. Mr. Baxter stated that this project would reduce the amount of traffic as compared to other projects that have been proposed in the past, with only 10 single-story duplex units being planned in this development. Councilman Cowart stated that traffic will still be impacted, but less than a multi-family project would create. Councilwoman Benton questioned if there would be adequate access for trash and fire trucks, which Mr. Baxter replied that this would be ensured at the time of site plan approval. Mr. Leo McDonald, resident of S. Skinner Avenue, stated his opposition of additional traffic in this area and to Skinner Avenue. Councilman Wall stated that speed bumps which are proposed for Skinner Avenue and the increased police patrol will hopefully alleviate this problem. Mr. Ricky Colby, adjacent property owner at 802 S. Rogers Street, expressed concern over the access road being directly in front of his driveway, stating that a left-turn out of this property will cause accidents and make it impossible for him to get out of his driveway. Councilman Cowart stated that the site plan will have to be looked at to address this issue. Mr. Scheer stated that he would have to notify the Department of Justice of this re-zoning. 

There being no further business to discuss, this hearing was adjourned at approximately 5:56 p.m.

City of Pooler, GA | 100 US HW 80, Pooler, GA 31322
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